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PrinceBlueblood

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Everything posted by PrinceBlueblood

  1. "Oh, actually..." Sky nipped his head down to undo one of the buttons on his shirt, bringing out what looked to be a cardboard sleeve from the inner pocket. "It's not very much, but I do have a vinyl with some things I've worked on. Not full songs, just demonstrations of what I can do with my setup. If you have a record player at home, I could play it there for you." He looked interested in the offer, and more awake now that he'd been during the whole conversation. "I'm alright to go when you are; I wasn't really getting much sleep up in the branches anyway; the wood of the tree inspires waking thoughts and restless dreams."
  2. Sky nodded, smiling now. If this was a dream, and he was increasingly convinced that it wasn't, it was a good dream. "Yes, I'm mostly self-taught, though, so I don't do things that most professionals would, I guess. That's both good and bad; I've made a unique sound, but I haven't been able to get out to where the ponies are who'd listen to it and make it meaningful to them. Something like... well, what you just said, accompanying the dance on stage like how all music accompanies the dance of life." The drifting patterns of his speech were slightly steadier, and Wind Dancer would see that they were just part of his personality, not his sleepiness. "Oh, uh... it's a bit outside of town, over the reservoir." He nodded up towards the north. It wasn't a short distance, else he probably would have flown home to sleep.
  3. Nodding solemnly to Icy's description of her time in the Spire, Kahz wasn't inclined to linger there. Dwelling on past trauma could get you into a bad mental state. He'd seen it happen with Chrysalis, her brooding over prior defeats leading to a reciprocal mental narrowing that threatened to undermine her entire Hive. He himself was a loyalist by nature, and even he had considered abandoning her right before Discord came in to give the inter-dimensional island resort. "Hmm, low-floor suite sounds perfect." He got up to get his things. "Oh, and I really should have asked this before... how do you want me to present myself? I can't imagine that all of your customers would respond as calmly as you would to an unreformed changeling. Honestly, I probably would drink the pastel flavor-aid if I thought my body could survive it, but..." He looked down at himself, before giving Icy a crooked smile. "Yeah, kind of don't want to end up a pile of colorful parts."
  4. "Ohh.... you were there too?" Kahz's voice grew a little softer. "I... was just there to scout. Honestly, I didn't end up doing much. Holed up with some of the foals in a nook somewhere and watched in all go down. Not much use in such situations." He spoke in a sad, but not agitated tone. He'd had to make peace with his abilities, or lack thereof, in a fight some time ago. "Ah, we won't dwell on that, unless you feel like a sad song." He shook himself, another bit of chitin flaking off. "So, where do I leave my bags? You got lodging for me here?"
  5. "You can give me wings... but not their use?" Bluebelle tilted her head and flapped her ornamental wings yet again. Maybe the theory about pegasi, griffons, and the like having an inherent magic that allowed them to fly was true; it would explain how one could be given wings but still be unable to fly. Niil couldn't affect Blue's personal magic, only her outward appearance. Disappointing, but understandable. "No, no... we'd best go on. But I suppose it's useful to know what you find attractive!" And with a bright smile, she sauntered off ahead of her sphinx. The river wasn't very far, just across a pleasantly flowery meadow. The Princess had a lot of good memories associated with this meadow, and hopefully this would be another one. She approached the banks with caution, trying not to wince at the feeling of mud beneath her paws. Just had to get to the water, and the the flow would carry it all away... Stepping into the pebbled bed of the river, she shivered slightly at the cold, before plunging into it to immerse herself, surfacing downstream where the flow collected in a large pool, subtly damned through careful rock placement. "Well, come in then! The water is invigorating!" And it was true, though the sensation of swimming felt slightly different, not even sphinx magic could take away Bluebelle's affinity for water, or love of cleanliness.
  6. Shining Armor read through "Sunflower's" letter for the third time before he dared to write his response. Already, he was starting to wonder just what his well meaning promise to his loving wife last night that he would handle all her duties while she was laid up had gotten him into. Letters didn't come into Dear Cady *too* often, as despite her advertised availability, ponies were inherently reluctant to take too great an advantage of Princess Cadence's offered attention. However, when a pony did actually write in, it was generally with a doozy, and this was certainly one of them. Shining had to scrap his first draft, too, halfway through the first paragraph. He'd attempted to write in-character as Cady, but it just came out... unnaturally. He had to treat this situation honestly, regardless of whether or not the supplicant would take his advice as seriously as his wife's. With a sigh, he took out a fresh sheet of paper and started again. Dear Turbulent Sunflower, From what I have read in your letter, the turmoil you're experiencing comes from a conflict between your desires and expectations. You expect that any attempt at romance on your part would most likely be a failure, and even if you succeed in establishing a relationship, would ultimately be unfulfilling. Despite all that, you have been unsuccessful in suppressing your desires, which must be considerable, if they have persisted through your experience. I think we can take it as granted that you have insufficient control over them to resolve this conflict, and must do so by adjusting your expectations. To begin with, it sounds as if they largely stem from your experience in a prior relationship. But as my little sister likes to say, "One data point does not a trendline make." What's more, I'm unconvinced that has any predictive value; the variables are too different. First, and most important, you aren't the same pony you were; you are considerably less self-centered and more caring. That alone makes a huge difference. Secondly, it's clear from your letter that you aren't at all desiring to use your present friendships or potential romances as a means to gain status; the essential character of actions, and therefore their likely long-term results, differ according to what's in a pony's heart as he or she does them. Thirdly, the other pony involved is different, at the very least, in terms of gender, and likely very many other things that make a difference. As for the work that relationship maintenance demands... on some level, you're both overstating and understating it. I've had to risk my life for the ponies that I love, but I agonized over that much less than I did right before daring to kiss Cadence for the first time. Love is a state of being, a way of living your life that gives a whole new meaning to your own actions, other ponies, and the entire world. Teenage infatuation is one way to enter this state, consistent and active devotion a more mature and reliable way. And I have confidence that is well within your abilities, partly from the fact that you admit to fantasizing about giving the very gestures of affection you call "chores" to Rising Star! The question of whether or not your feelings are reciprocated can't really be conclusively answered until they're clearly articulated. Some ponies are just oblivious to others having a crush on them, others let their negative expectations mask their desires. For a little while at the beginning, I tried not to betray my crush on Cadence because I thought she couldn't possibly be interested in a stallion like me, and of course I didn't see her reciprocate, because I wasn't giving her anything to respond to! That's not to say that laying out your feelings clearly will guarantee a positive answer. But what it will guarantee is an answer; something concrete to weigh against your incorrigible desires. It might be awkward, but part of being a good friend is moving through necessary awkwardness, and knowing for sure is necessary for you, if you're to be at peace with yourself again. This is why I advise ultimately trying the experiment of admitting your feelings to Star, telling her what you've told me, your affection and fears alike. Whatever comes out of telling the truth, whether you start a romantic relationship or not, will be the best result you could hope for; better than your current turmoil at least. As my little sister also says, "There's no such thing as a useless experiment. Even a null result adds to the body of knowledge!" If she does, however, end up accepting, then you will both be dealing with a different issue. I'm not going to say that making a relationship work is easy, but having two bright ponies who are highly motivated to making it work counts for a lot. As for the rest, both me and Cady will still be here, if you, or her, need to write to us again for help! As a final point... I can very much empathize with not wanting to be outshone, or remembered as an ancillary. Being the brother of one alicorn princess, and husband to another, it's rather hard not to be. And at first, I was. Canterlot is no stranger to trophy spouses, and for the first few months of our marriage, that's what everypony thought of me as. Ended up having to literally get over a thousand miles away from there to end up becoming regarded as a hero in my own right. But you know what? I couldn't have done it without Cadence, with her support, and her belief that I could be somepony like that. Granted, I'm mostly just a hero to the Crystal Empire and my family, but I don't think I need to care about everypony's opinion, just those who matter. Think about who really matters to you, and don't waste time or energy trying to get in the good graces of those who ultimately don't really care about what sort of pony you are or what you'll become. I think you've actually already learned that lesson, actually, which is why I am rather hopeful that, whatever comes between you and Rising Star, you will ultimately find yourself to be quite capable and willing to love. Wishing you all the best, Shiny
  7. *THOOM!* Even if Bluebelle were not a unicorn attuned to the presence of magic, the minor earthquake of the spinx's paw hitting the ground combined with the whoosh of air from the wing would have signaled to her that something happened. The shock opened her eyes involuntarily, which blinked out at the world through slitted irises. She was at first confused as to what had happened, until a quick glance down at her hoof... revealed that it was now a paw. "Mirror!" She cried out to the servants, who always carried one around for just such an emergency. The maid quickly brought the bit of silver glass that revealed the self to the self, and the Princess gazed upon her form. "Oh, my..." Her coat still maintained a pristine white form, but instead of the short hide of a pony, there was the soft fur of a cat. The facial structure... didn't look all that different, as was the nature of sphinxes. Her mane, though, seemed to be magically styled in the ancient Saddle Arabian form, complete with the jade headdress. It actually looked rather nice with her golden locks. And then Niil mentioned wings. "What!?" She immediately turned her head back to look at herself, as sure enough, there they were! She immediately flared them, surprised at how natural the reaction felt. The swan-like feathers seemed to shimmer in the sun, framing her waving feline tail in the distance. Her breath was taken away, and she looked back at her reflection. It was her, but unfamiliar enough for a warm sensation felt in her core to... not exactly be narcissism. All that said, she could definitely empathize with Niilavin's desire to have a female sphinx about the place. If they all looked this good... She blinked. "Wait a minute, what do you mean they don't work?" She tried flapping them, and though she could feel air resistance, there was no sensation of lift. "Aww... am I just too heavy? I didn't think I needed to on a severe diet..."
  8. Rolling his neck to get the last travel crick out of his chitin, Kahz was momentarily distracted by the sight of a black flake tumbling to the floor. A hoof came quickly up to rub the spot where it came from, with a relieved sigh once he discovered it was just a normal molt. "I have to watch out for that; this husk isn't exactly top-of-the-line, as you can see." He tried to pass off his first reference to his condition with a grin, but it didn't quite reach his eyes. "Anyway... my main instrument is the electric guitar, so any song or style that features one is fair game to me. I'm a bit all over the map, as I tend to bulk out my repertoire with covers, but the few records we managed to get back to the hive were... eclectic, to say the least. Everything from Buck Berry to Shodhoof to Foster the Ponies. Altogether I think I may have made an odd duck of myself, but I've developed the stage presence to make it all work. You might have seen me at that Manehattan Friendship Fair some years back, do you remember? The one held after the Crystal Faire?"
  9. Sky nodded, gently. "Yes, though, if I'm being honest, I mostly do so because I'm the only artist in my studio. I rode my cloud home here, where I have a little recording set-up scrounged from the leftovers of various warehouses I picked up for a song. Or, just a few bits. I mostly work with audio only, trying to fix the dream currents that run through my head in waking hours onto vinyl and tape. Sometimes they have lyrics. Of course, I'd open the studio to anypony who wanted my help, but most aspiring singers try to make their way with live shows." He rustled his wings, dislodging the leaves from his jacket. "I've always been too much of an introvert to busk or play cafes, so it's been tough."
  10. The grin... worried Bluebelle a little. There were some ponies for whom a feline grin was a promise of a good time... others for which it was a promise of a very bad time indeed. True, Niilavin was bound not to hurt her, but the Princess wasn't *absolutely* certain there weren't any loopholes. On the other hoof... it wouldn't do to not show trust in the sphinx, after all this, right? "Very well." She sat upon the earth, eyes closed, doing her best to project an image of serenity as she felt the breeze from his wings. Internally, her heart was pounding in anticipation. What was the sneaky little- well, not so little cat up to?
  11. The bathing party was beginning to leave the cobblestones behind, as the clop of hooves against rock was replaced with the muffled thud of hooves against grassy turf (hauled at high expense for a high-altitude meadow). So far, so good. Bluebelle was having to hold herself off from self-congratulation on her diplomatic skills; she was leading a cat to water, and by Faust he shall bathe! "Well, it's not really getting dirty if we're taking bath. Quite the opposite in fact! I rather enjoy the whole process of washing, considerably more than getting dirty." A small pause. "Well, most ways of getting dirty." The Princess had to admit. There was much that royals got up to that the public was not made aware of. Blue had it on good authority that Auntie Celestia would go puddle-jumping on occasion. The offer of magic, though, raised the mare's hackles somewhat. But, they were in an open area, no bystanders about. What was the worst that could happen? "Go on, Niil... what is it?"
  12. Upon hearing that his old band could get back together, Kahz's grey compound eyes lit up, and his wings buzzed a little. "Alright, awesome!" Pulling a list from underneath his elytra, he handed over the sheet to Icy, with a few names and band roles scribbled out on it. "Hopefully their instruments are still in good shape, though we could probably get replacements easily in this city, yeah?" There wasn't much of a reaction from him at news of Icy's military maneuvers. Of course he'd been informed of it, but he'd also been raised in a militarized environment, to some extent. Casual discussion of such things was par for the course for him. "Oh, by the way, if you ever need to give your troops a little morale boost, just clear a stage for me. I know how to get the old ichor pumping before a big mission. That's what I did, back in the Hive; that and entertainment for the R&R crowd. Not so much these days; I'm just playing chill tropical tunes for the tourists. Which is pretty great, don't get me wrong; the audience's appreciation is a feast of love, but... well, I kind of miss the old range of shows I used to have. That's why Chrysalis agreed to send me over, I understand."
  13. The pegasus male blinked, his eyes and mind still in that fuzzy, half-awake state. "Oh, that's good to know. It's sometimes hard to believe that beautiful things are still real when the waking world assaults you with the garish and ugly, and you sometimes wonder why your friends said a city would be a good place to start singing when the noise just seems to drown you out." He ended the rambling statement with a yawn, before shaking the branch some more; finally emerging from the foliage as he glided down to the bench where Wind Dancer was sitting. She would be able to get a better glimpse of him now; he was still wearing clothes, what looked like a white shirt and black jacket, now branch-poked and leaf-strewn. There was even a tie, tied loosely, that flapped in the breeze as he steadied his wings. "What's your name? Mine's Sky Sailing, more from drifting than charted courses."
  14. Hah, still got it! Kahz could tell from the look in Icy's eyes that she'd barely noticed his deformity. It was irrelevant, just as he liked it to be. Charm was, for him, a survival skill. Growing up as a malnourished grub, every scrap of love he got was doubly valuable, not only staving off starvation, but also convincing passing warriors not to just squish him like a liability standing in their way. *No, don't let your mind go back there. Things are different now. You're not hungry. She's not hungry.* Setting aside bad memories with a wink, he stepped back to where a chair was set up for visitors. "Ah, sure; I've worked my share of nights before. Might take a bit to get into a nocturnal rhythm, of course, but a week or two of practicing should set me on course." He slid into the seat, masking his inability to sit up straight with a casual lounge over the chair's arm. "Maybe three weeks, though, if I can't get my normal backup band. I think a couple were sent here before, but her Majesty said they were already working in your... other project. Wouldn't want to draw them away if you needed them."
  15. If the mare was especially paying attention after her sneeze, she might have noticed an extra rustle in the tree above her, the branches swaying in a direction not governed by the wind. A few rustles and sways later, the head of a stallion would have poked out. It wasn't exactly an unusual occurrence; the excess of salt and other intoxicants readily available in the city often led to ponies being strewn about the city, remaining wherever they fell asleep until they awoke with no memories. There was no smell of such things about this one, though, just a general sleep-deprived look about him, black about the eye sockets contrasting with the sky-blue of his coat. "Um, Celestia bless you." He said, in a slow, gentle voice, one hoof briefly pushing aside the brown mane that fell over his left eye. "I don't normally see other ponies out so late. Unless I'm just dreaming you. Wouldn't be the first time."
  16. Kahz fancied himself a good judge of voices; singers tended to be. Icy's was pleasant enough, smooth as polished ice, considerably warmer, but... at the back of it, one could tell it had the potential to be something else. She wasn't like most Equestrian mares, nice because that was all she knew how to be. Or, at least, his intuition was telling him, but it had been a while since he was out in the field. Maybe his senses weren't as attuned as they used to be. One way to find out... He sauntered into the room, stride and posture the very picture of confidence, in spite of their enforced lopsidedness. "Well, hey there!" He flashed the blue unicorn a grin, coming up to rest a crooked foreleg on the top of her desk. "Her Majesty said I should be looking for a sharply pretty mare to report to, gotta assume that's you." Not Chrysalis' exact words, but he had to keep the ol' charm in practice. Queens knew, he'd need it up on stage...
  17. The daytime haze of the desert city of Las Pegasus was one of those things never mentioned in the tourist brochures. Almost all pictures of the city's famous neon-lit streets were taken at night, when some casino cash streams were diverted to employ the weather team to keep the skies clear and unobscured by anything that would blur the signs advertising the dens of entertainment. But for the sake of balance, all that had to be left hanging in the sky during the day, at a high enough altitude that the tourists didn't have to breathe it, naturally, but still at such a size that one saw the cloud before the city. *At least it provides some shade from the sun.* One earth pony reflected, riding in a special cab used to bus tourists directly from the airship & train stations to the hotels. Not that Heart Sight was a tourist, exactly. No, he was to be part of the staff, or rather one of the shows, at the newest establishment on the Strip, the Fire and Ice Casino. The cab advertised as much, marked as it was in a snazzy orange, blue, and white pattern; it seemed to shine even in the dulled light of the city's sun as it was pulled up to the staff entrance. The diminuitive figure that emerged, burdened with the load of a guitar case and travel bag, may well have had a reason to pick an out-of-the-way ingress. Grey coat, mousey-brown mane, and body that wasn't quite... right. The legs weren't all the same length, making him stand slanted and walk in a scuttling manner. His speed betrayed the fact that he'd grown used to it enough to not let him be slowed down by it, and he made good time to the office at the far end of the hall. Sighing, he laid his burden down by the doorway, looking both ways for interlopers. He'd been assured by... her that his natural form would not be seen amiss here, but... he only had promises for the proprietress. No telling what the other staff would think of a changeling. Particularly one which kept his unreformed state. He sighed again, letting the glamor drop. Grey hide became black chitin, brown mane a scraggly, flaky approximation to such. Same color, though. And the physique was still its old self; no magic could disguise that. But neither could it hide the nature of his smile, it transformed his whole look from something merely pathetic to one of a cocksure underdog that was gonna blow the doubters away, baby! Or so he could make ponies believe. But could he convince himself? That was the question still unanswered as he raised a holey hoof to knock upon the door...
  18. Wing-grooming as a gesture of intimacy seemed to be pretty universal among all species where such things were relevant. It made sense to Bluebelle; you had a pair of sensitive body parts that were essential to their uniqueness, it was a natural outgrowth. His guards had told him that self-preening was difficult and involved a lot of uncomfortable cricks in one's neck, but wing-grooming from an inexperienced or uncaring partner? That could leave you grounded for weeks, if the pinfeathers broke. Not that the Princess felt she would be able to manage to do so much damage to Niil. Even if she were physically or magically capable, it went against her nature to violate magnificence! "Oh, don't worry. That's why I had a cup of tea before starting, I felt you'd be more comfortable this way than if I were Bluebood." Left unsaid was the fact that, so far, Niil was the only living member of his species that Blue knew of. That could be trouble... later. Leave that for later. Sufficient to the day would be the scratches and splashes thereof...
  19. Standing next to his wife, Shining Armor got a good vicarious sense of all her emotions. He'd been with Cady long enough to know her romantic nature; things like this were the exact right touch to add to any date they went on together; both having love for each other, but also being the cause of love in others. Plus, the hearts that showered down around her were strawberry-flavored! "Mmm!" Shining smiled as he snapped one of the hearts out of the air and he felt it melt in his mouth. "Gotta thank Thorax for showing us how to do this, huh? It's hard to blame the changelings, love really is the best..."
  20. The Watcher suspiciously... watches.
  21. It probably shouldn't have been surprising to Prince Blueblood that Applejack put the kibosh on the idea of "volunteering" their students for help. But, being royalty was literally a privileged existence, in the old, Roaman sense of the term: "private law." Blueblood never really had to follow the rules, provided his actions did not upset Auntie. It made him a useful diplomatic pawn when red tape and yellow papers would ensnare the Foreign Office's official ponies in doing work. "Oh, I see. But given that they're already spending their free time just waiting in line, seems that the opportunity for something more constructive, with the same or enhanced rewards, could be offered." He didn't push the point, however, as he gently took a seat beside her to inspect the inner workings of the cider press. He nodded at Bella again as she would move off; AJ certainly looked as if she could use the coffee today. Speaking of Auntie, one of them had just turned up! He gave Luna a wave and a wry smile, "Looks as if you'll have to give that order, Auntie. She's not the sort to let her pride go like that." He said with a chuckle. Over the sounds of their conversation could be heard the calls of Applebloom giving out the cider. The Prince noted that Silverstream was now getting her mug, which gave him some sense of relief... until he saw her trip and spill the mug just as she was going to share it with her fellow student. He winced, sucking a breath through his teeth. "Now that's just... unfortunate. I don't suppose there's any way we could reserve a replacement mug for them?"
  22. As Cadence directed the attention of all surrounding to Rainbow Dash and Applejack, Shining Armor looked on like a proud uncle. Of course, Rainbow had approached the two of them to help coordinate this moment, and naturally they both agreed! At the root of everything that made Equestria great, strong bonds of family, friendship, and love were essential. Balls like this had originally sprouted from ancient ceremonial dances, primarily from the unicorns, to foster this very thing. There was something in the air, as the original purpose of gathering and dancing was fulfilled before his eyes, some calling of ancient magic he could feel through his bones, even dancing to the Rhythm of Squalls singing... Or perhaps Shiny was just growing sentimental in fatherhood. That was possible too. "Another show well done, love." He whispered to Princess Cadence. Of course, Applejack hadn't yet said yes, but Shining Armor would eat his mess dress if something like this were refused by her!
  23. Bluebelle was herself relieved to find the chains of command and magic would not be necessary. "We've reserved a place by the mountain river. There's a wide pool before the waterfall, that should be big enough for you, but not too deep for us." The Princess gestured for Niil to follow her and the maids as they made their way through the back garden gate. "It's not too far a walk from here; the manor is pretty near the riverfront." As indeed it was; all the most expensive real estate in the city was close to the river, though most reserved for public buildings and parks. It meant the walk wouldn't be too crowded, giving Niilavin enough room to stretch his legs before he cleaned them. Blue was proud of her composure at the sight of Niilavin's wing. It was almost too large for her to be stoked like a peahen at the sight of plumage. Almost. Dang, but those were nice wings. "Don't worry about that; there's a reason I have pegasi-sized birdbaths. Your feathers will be fine, all the better for being made nice and shiny, with all the itchy bugs and dust rinsed out of them. And I can assure you..." He voice approximated a feline purr, more or less out of habit when speaking on this subject, "I am very experienced in wing cleaning and preening. Just ask my honor guard."
  24. *"Friendship for all?" Really, Filthy? Really? I suppose you can't afford to offend the ponies who do business with you-* And it was at this moment, right as she was preparing a sardonic look for her husband, that Spoiled Rich realized that she might not be able to afford offending ponies any more than her loving partner could. The politician's constant awareness of the public eye was a new thing for the mare, who though politically active had been relatively unaccountable for her entire public 'career.' But now? She had to be cautious. Ponyville was a nice town to a nearly disgusting degree, but things like the yellow press were not unknown here. But then, Spoiled Rich remembered that the only instance of a scandal sheet being published had been from her own daughter, and immediately felt better. It would be she who could control such weapons, and not her opponents! At least, provided dear little Diamond wasn't disobedient... Speaking of opponents, though, it seemed like the only contender, besides the unqualified filly, would be this outsider nopony. How lovely! "Well, you'd hardly be able to get rid of me, in any case. I am Ponyville's most prominent citizen, after all." Not counting the Princess, of course, but royalty wasn't citizenship by definition. Having said her piece, she even managed a little smile for Copper, before turning back to her husband. "In any case, I don't suppose there's much point in us sticking around any longer, is there? It doesn't seem as if anypony else is interested in futile gestures, and there wasn't anything else on the meeting agenda. And we do have a campaign to plan... not to mention a daughter to round up."
  25. Bluebelle had anticipated this line of attack, was prepared a battery of argument to meet it. "Unfortunately, your tongue is not going to be sufficient to take care of that fur coat of yours. I'm glad you removed the excess, but what remains has to be properly shampooed and conditioned! You don't want to embarrass me in public with a coat that isn't sleek and shiny, right? You're a part of a Royal Household, don't forget!" Vanity, always appeal to vanity. That's what always got her up early in the morning to prepare her looks to face the world.
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